Not that anyone asked, but yes, there is a whole new season of anime that came out for Winter 2016, and Crunchyroll (or whatever source you’re getting your anime from) has got a hefty amount of them, too! But due to a change of pace this year, along with some other crazy things going on in my life, I won’t be doing a full preview of the new shows that interest me the most. Sorry!
If you must have a straight answer from me, the reason I’ve decided not to share what I’m watching is because I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to watching anime right now. I began actively discussing anime about three years ago as a form of therapy. Having simulcasts gave me something to look forward to each day of the week, much like anyone who has ever watched a good TV show the moment the latest episode broadcasts. And like any other good show, it was something I actively wanted to discuss with friends, family, complete strangers, who knows?
But at the height of my activities, talking about anime wasn’t so much fun as I thought it was when I had started. I may have only been clocking about 12 hours a week to watching anime, but the reality was that anime took up a large chunk of my life. Friends would call me an “anime guru,” as I would gladly give them a list of things to watch, quite literally, from my memory. It didn’t matter to me whether I liked or hated the series I recommended, so long as I thought they might enjoy it. While some of them would respond back, letting me know that they have at least given the time to watch something, there were many times when I was left wondering if they even bothered to look into it.
That’s not to say that they’re terrible people for not getting back to me. I can forgive them for that because there are times when even I forget to respond back to their requests. On the other hand, there are times when I wonder to myself what I’m getting out of talking about anime. If I have friends, I can talk to them about something other than anime and manga or do something else with them regardless of that medium. For awhile, it seemed like I had friends like that, but times change, and more acquaintances would show up, only to talk to me about anime as if I was their anime librarian (or perhaps even their anime shark). What I thought was just an idle hobby became more meaningful to me, and it’s clear to me that I took off with it like a passion. But over time, I realized that my involvement with anime became too overwhelming. I had to take a step back somewhere to rethink what all of this means to me, from promoting shows that I like to discussing them in a way that seems meaningful to others.
Before you ask, NO, this does not mean that I’m not watching anything. Anime may have taken up a lot of my time, but I don’t blame it at all for my current anxieties. I will still be writing full anime reviews from time to time, maybe even get around to talking about the newest shows that are airing right now. I still believe that watching and discussing anime is therapeutic, but that has to be done in a smart way (which typically means minimizing whatever inhibits anxieties), or it won’t work. I don’t have an answer for that either, but taking a step back from what I’m doing normally might help.
As I begin to unpack what anime means to me, I will say this: I don’t talk about anime for the fans. As important as it is to know your friends from your enemies, we don’t always agree with each other. Let’s stop denying that we have our tastes and our opinions will divide us, even when our aunties or uncles try to put fans together just because they both share an interest in this “anime” phenomenon.
One of the reasons I never give a numeric rating on some scale for things that I watch is because my thoughts on a show don’t boil down scientifically to something we can half-heartedly agree upon. And even if I did give a number for shows somewhere, it hardly means anything because I’m most likely going to change it in the future. To me, you can measure concrete things with numbers such as the length of an episode or the number of people watching a show at any given time. But something more complex like an entire series cannot be measured in numbers or descriptions. The value comes from what can be said about it, beyond a summary, beyond a conversation starter like “who’s your favorite character” or “what is this show like?” That’s another reason I prefer not to compare shows from one to another, although I do admit to filtering some things out based on my impressions of shows like it.
But if you must know what it is I’m excited for this season, or shows that caught my attention, I will say that I am at least watching whatever was left over from the past season that continues on into this one, but you wouldn’t know what those are unless you’ve been stalking me! I am also watching the show where my featured image comes from: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, in case you didn’t know.
So if you want to know what’s a good anime to watch this season, there are plenty of other sources to find out. But if you want my immediate opinions about Crunchyroll simulcasts, I may let you know if I ever get around to reviewing them. But in the immediacy, know that I am also a human being, prone to my own preferences, and not having time for every last thing out there.